I know watching the news and seeing Hurricane Ida slam into the Gulf Coast, on the anniversary date as Hurricane Katrina no less, can make you feel helpless. After a while, you feel numb and want to do something, do anything, but don’t know how you can help.
Luckily, most airline and hotel programs are making it easy to contribute in any way you can. Even if you don’t have the cash to spare, you can donate those random points you have here and there to the recovery effort. Even better, many of us have accounts flush with points we couldn’t use because of COVID. How great would it feel to donate those points if you have more of them than you know what to do with? Face it; it’s better to donate them than redeem them for some magazines that you’ll never read, overpriced luggage, or an Amazon InstaPot.
Most loyalty programs, at a minimum, partner with the American Red Cross while others may deal with less known, but no less important charitable organizations.
Choice Privileges –https://www.choicehotels.com/choice-privileges/redeem-points/donations
Marriott Bonvoy – https://giving.marriott.com/home
Marriott allows you to donate points to the Red Cross as well as World Central Kitchen. If you don’t know about this charity founded by Chef José Andrés, take a minute to see all of the work they do to bring food to those affected by disasters all over the world.
Big winds & rain hitting New Orleans from Hurricane #Ida! Reporting in from our @WCKitchen hotel downtown…Imagine what it’s like without protection of buildings! We are already getting reports of major destruction near Houma…and Power is now out here in NOLA! #ChefsForLouisiana pic.twitter.com/ZepHOuO8SO
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) August 29, 2021
Hilton Honors – Hilton Honors – Hilton allows you to donate to any number of charities where 3,500 points are equal to a $10 donation.
Southwest Airlines – Southwest partners with the Team Rubicon for disaster relief –
Delta Airlines – https://www.delta.com/buygftxfer/displayDonateMiles.action
JetBlue – You can donate to the American Red Cross, Americares and World Central Kitchen to help with hurricane relief.
Alaska – To donate miles to hurricane relief efforts, Alaska Mileage Plan members can log into their mileage account, click the donate miles link and select the Alaska Airlines Disaster Relief pool. – https://www.alaskaair.com/mileageplan/ssl/Donate/DonateMiles.aspx
United – You can donate to both the American Red Cross and Americares to help with hurricane relief.
American – On the American website, while logged into your account you can click on donate miles under the “Use Miles” tab. American allows donations to “Miles For Social Good.” The American Airlines Miles for Social Good program supports organizations focused on providing humanitarian efforts, feeding the hungry, disaster response and contributing to future generations around the globe.
Credit Card Programs
Discover – We encourage our cardmembers to donate their Cashback Bonus rewards to any or all of the organizations we partner with. To donate, call 1-800-DISCOVER or donate online through our Discover Card Account Center.
American Express – If you’d like to help, you can use your American Express Membership Rewards points by going to https://www.justgiving.com/amexpaywithpoints
There is no way to directly donate your Chase Ultimate Rewards to hurricane relief. I found an article on CNBC that shows how you can donate Ultimate Rewards points to charity.
While you can’t directly donate your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to charity, there’s a roundabout way to do so. Simply use your Chase Ultimate Rewards® card to make a donation to an eligible charity, like Habitat for Humanity and Feeding America. Then redeem your points for a statement credit with Pay Yourself Back to recoup your donation.
When you redeem points for eligible charity donations with Pay Yourself Back, you’ll wind up using fewer points compared to a traditional statement credit redemption, since points are worth 25% more this way (50% for Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders).
A $25 charitable donation would typically require 2,500 points. But with Pay Yourself Back, it only costs 1,667 or 2,000 points, depending on the card you have.
I’m sending out positive vibes to everyone affected by Hurricane Ida and I know this will be an ongoing struggle for quite some time. Hopefully, some of the money donated through these means will help them through. I hope they know that we are there for them.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary